7 odd reasons why people avoid the Opera

And they are nothing to do with the music!

Mention the word “Opera” and the vast majority of the population in both the USA and the UK run and hide.

People actually look for ways to avoid talking about it, like it’s a sleazy secondhand car salesman or embarrassing bodily discharge.

Noooooo!

According to a few surveys and studies* it seems as though the reasons people avoid the Opera (and Classical Music in general) have nothing to do with Opera itself, but what we imagine it is like.

That seems a bit odd to me.

Why do we choose to like or dislike something based on what we don’t know?

Here are seven possible reasons:

Those speakers are for what, now?

Why are many performers using sound systems during their concerts?

I once attended a concert and felt a tingle in my arms.

Not because of a heart-attack, nor because I was cold.

There was a moment of simple beauty.

A “Goosebump Moment” as George Marriner Maull of the Discovery Orchestra calls it.

What causes such music-inspired goosebumps?

goosebumps

Why rename everything?

Is describing what something is not enough?

I have never understood why decision makers in classical music particularly, but the performing arts in general, give in to the trend of renaming everything according to whoever has the most money.

If someone makes a big donation for a new facility, great! ADD their name to it, do not replace the original name!

The Tampa Ice Palace where the Lightening Ice Hockey team are based and many concerts are held became the St Petersburg Times Forum which became the Tampa Bay Times Forum when the sponsor changed its own name, and is now the Amalie Arena now that a new sponsor has been seduced – that well known oil company neither sports nor the performing arts can live without. At least we know it is an arena. (When I hear “Forum” I think of a Roman government building.)

Worse are the PACs (Performing Arts Centers). Everyone knows what a PAC is, and where it is. For example, if I want to produce a concert in New Jersey, I could look at the NJ PAC in New Jersey. Or if I wanted to take an orchestra to NYC, I could book the Tribeca Performing Arts Center in… Tribeca, New York.

But there is no Tampa PAC (anymore). No St. Petersburg (USA) PAC. Not even a Clearwater PAC. No, if I am from out of Florida and want to see what’s going on in the Tampa Bay region, I’d easily find things like the Tarpon Springs PAC (300 seats), the Largo PAC (460 seats), or the 800 seat Palladium (not a PAC, but the term is sufficiently in use throughout history to be recognized as a performance venue). Places such as the Straz Center (a science lab, or a five-theater complex with 4,000 seats?), the Mahaffey (a snooty chef restaurant, or a 2,000 seat theater?), or even Ruth Eckerd Hall (a Biltmore-like mansion with beautiful gardens, or a modern 1,800 seat concert venue?) would be totally passed over. Their names do not describe what they do.

Throughout history concert halls have borne the name of their patrons, but they are still concert halls. Orchestras, string quartets, concert and community bands, all tell us what they do, whatever sponsor or patron name precedes them.

Actually, there are some traditional performing groups playing at various unrecognizable venues that are beginning to follow a similar trend. I do wish they would stop it. Tell us what you are or do, please.

Thanks to Mark Stivers for this little laugh;

Mozart Tribute Band

Tchaikovsky: Symphony 6

Stephen's Classical Rate N Slate

Hear what British American Conductor Composer Stephen P Brown has to say about classical music, and why you should find a local performance to attend. You might agree with his rating and slating! Listen to Stephen’s Hall of Fame concert every morning and evening on Classic Pinellas Radio.

Week beginning Monday, July 25, 2016

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Grieg: Piano Concerto

Stephen's Classical Rate N Slate

Hear what British American Conductor Composer Stephen P Brown has to say about classical music, and why you should find a local performance to attend. You might agree with his rating and slating! Listen to Stephen’s Hall of Fame concert every morning and evening on Classic Pinellas Radio.

Week beginning Monday, July 18, 2016

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Copland: Appalachian Spring

Stephen's Classical Rate N Slate

Hear what British American Conductor Composer Stephen P Brown has to say about classical music, and why you should find a local performance to attend. You might agree with his rating and slating! Listen to Stephen’s Hall of Fame concert every morning and evening on Classic Pinellas Radio.

Week beginning Monday, July 11, 2016

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Strauss: Death and Transfiguration

Stephen's Classical Rate N Slate

Hear what British American Conductor Composer Stephen P Brown has to say about classical music, and why you should find a local performance to attend. You might agree with his rating and slating! Listen to Stephen’s Hall of Fame concert every morning and evening on Classic Pinellas Radio.

Week beginning Monday, July 4, 2016

Download mp3 or buy CD: